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Hannover v Bayern Munich – Pep looks set to leave Bavaria
Bundesliga behemoths Bayern Munich have their own managerial concerns before the trip to Hannover after boss Pep Guardiola said he will make the long anticipated announcement about his future at the club next week. Guardiola has already led Bayern to two Bundesliga titles in two years in charge and will desperately be looking to add a Champions League title to this season’s expected domestic triumph. The best pundits and top online football tipsters are analysing every syllable of every comment the Catalan makes about his future and are tipping Pep to leave Bavaria at the end of his contract next summer.
EPL’S HOT PURSUIT
Europe’s top clubs are on Pep-Alert such is the 44-year-old’s reputation as the world’s best football manager and Guardiola has spoken in the past about his ambition to one day manage in the English Premier League. There will be vacancies for him and three of the EPL’s biggest clubs are hotly linked to pursue Pep with Jose Mourinho sacked at Chelsea, Louis Van Gaal under increasing pressure at Manchester United and uncertainty about Manuel Pelligrini’s future at Manchester City.
ANCELOTTI TIPPED TO TAKE OVER
Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that Pep has already agreed to replace Pelligrini at the Etihad but Mourinho’s dismissal has racketed up the velocity of the managerial merry-go-round to dizzying effects. German magazine Kicker has announced former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will replace Pep, reporting the Italian has already told friends he is 90% certain to take over at Bayern next season. Friday’s announcement by Guardiola that he has informed the club about his intentions has only added to the furore surrounding his future.
He won’t let this affect his side’s preparation for the game with Hannover – Bayern’s last of 2015 with the Bundesliga on their winter break until January 23 set to commence after this weekend’s fixtures. Pep said: “The club, [Bayern chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have said time and time again that we will say something after our final game in Hannover, and that’s how things are going to stay. I’m just focusing on Hannover. I’ve been watching their games.” Whilst Bayern are odds-on favourites to retain their title and make it three Bundesliga crowns in a row for Pep, Bayern’s lead at the top is not as wide as some may think.
SLENDER LEAD AT TOP
Despite setting new domestic records and winning 14 of their 16 games so far, Bayern’s lead at the top is a slender five points over Borussia Dortmund. Hannover by contrast are third bottom with just four wins and two draws from their 16 games and defeat tomorrow will be their third in a row after losses to Hoffenheim and Schalke. Bayern put the shock 3-1 defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach behind them last week with a 2-0 win over 11th placed Ingoldstadt and while there are doubts about the future of their coach, the club announced this week that a number of players have extended their contracts. Thomas Muller put pen to paper and committed himself to the German giants until 2021, with similar extensions for Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez. Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso also signed a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2017 meaning the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star could once again be playing under Ancelotti next season.
By: Joe Cahal